We suggest “Family Tree Gardens” around street trees, run by citizens and municipality.
While Corona lockdowns have emphasized the importance of urban green open spaces, they are constantly being deteriorated by intensive development and citizen involvement remains marginal. Trees are constantly under threat, coupled with raising citizen protest. Currently, pits around street trees are small and soil remains bare and empty, with few exceptions. This creates unfavorable conditions for the tree. Making people care for their home environment and street trees is important for protecting them, so that people spending more time at home and in its vicinity would benefit. It also paves the road toward more locally based labour and economy.
We suggest reaching these goals by encouraging people to take care of a local tree and a little “Family Tree Garden” in the pit around the tree. By “Family” we relate to the micro-ecosytem, including the tree and all people caring for it and creatures living around it. The municipality will publish calls for action to citizens, inviting them to adopt a tree near their home and receive guidance. One person will be defined as the “Tree Gardener”, responsible for the garden. He/She will hold the access to tools and accessories and serve as the contact person. Municipality workers and citizens will undergo, together, a training programme. After they have received the guidance, citizens will be invited to events in which they will meet their local municipality personnel and receive plants and tools to create the garden. “Tree Gardeners” will receive irrigation instructions and recommendations, together with a kit containing a detailed list of recommended plants and their characteristics, as well as basic gardening tools. A municipal, public database will be constantly updated with data from all adopted trees. Citizens will receive contact details of relevant municipality workers and will meet them on a regular basis to coordinate treatment of the tree and garden and respond to problems, needs and questions.We suggest widening the pit and planting additional plants around the tree, using accessories, such as raised beds and climbing meshes, creating the little “Family Tree Garden”. The garden will be circled by a little fence and stone margins, allowing rainwater flow from the surrounding into the pit, coupled with additional means of channeling more rainwater from the environment toward the pit. A sign will show contact.